Saturday, August 27, 2011

D2R2 2011 -- pre Irene -- Randonnée

Py's 2011 Deerfield Dirt-Road Randonnée report -- 180k epic ride with 4000 m or 12'000 ft elevation gain on dirt:


And after that a great dinner in Shellbourne Falls, Blue Rock with D.


Saturday morning 4:30am wake up call. Filling up bottles and getting to the start. Looking like a great morning, sun just about to rise on a partly overcast day. Perfect temperature, little humid feel. At the start sign-in tables a few known faces of previous years -- nice, good to see you guys! Also Isaac was there with a brand new looking cross bike and they all learned the lesson -- plenty of gearing.

Py signed in at GPS time [6:06am, 0'] and took off with this group at good pace. Moving around figuring out who is there, looking for Todd -- any one seen our last years "leader", I must have missed him. The group was going at a perfect steady pace but was surging up hills, flying down hill but every one took precautions on those at times tricky descents. No issues, great! Py used his route experience for extra fun and free way to go -- moving up before descents to have a free passage to go -- in particular as he had his MTB/Cross "Stonie-Cross" advantage with suspension fork and disc breaks for good control on rough terrain. Fun.
1st refill at mile 20.7 [7:40am, 91' - 94']: Water station at Steady Lane Farm,
quite refill, eating banana #1, storing #2 in jersey pocket left of camel back pack. Py opted again to take his pack wit h2 tubes, extra food, 3rd FULL heavy bottle, pump, CO2, tools, cameras and more gear (too much as always...) to haul around -- needed nothing of it.


Moving on -- the group is reassembling on next few miles, great going again. Py is feeling good and time and miles are just flying by -- only this pack seamed to be overloaded and is a bit hurting on his back in particular with a few spots of this road rash below -- and they are approaching the

2nd refill at mile 36.60 [8:49am, 161' - 166']: CHECKPOINT Heath.

More bananas and a PB&J sandwich :-)


From here they are hitting this short fun and more trail like rooty and at parts muddy road... followed by more series of climbs and epic downhills. Right after the Archambo Rd -- a 27% wall of dirt... following a good long climb on Hillman Rd the strong guys in the lead group tear it off and the group separated. Py got a little behind. Alright, many good excuses: Still suffering from last Sunday's crash causing light but wicked cramps and different unusual location only in his left upper leg, together with some just annoying light itches of road rash and so on... Also he could not sleep as well as he is used (and liked) to last nights... plus he figured later his saddle was a notch too low. But not only this, facing the fact that those riders were a mix of Professionals !!! and CAT1s and a like -- he thinks he has not to feel bad about getting dropped at 80+km and about 3 hours into the ride on this climb. From now on paying a bit the tolls of previous efforts and easing up just notch hooking with other riders facing the same.

At mile 52.6 [237'] on top of the major climb a quick water top off at road side -- unmanned deposited bottles. Really wondering if he should dump his water in the back pack bottle... but did not. Moving on. Mostly solo following his GPS 2010 track. Nice ride on Deer Park and Green River Rd and good to know the

3rd refill at mile 64.25 [11:00am, 293' - 315']: CHECKPOINT Green River Covered Bridge

is approaching soon. Here finding most or even all?? of the riders he was together with at the lead group. According to Isaac they must have gotten there about good 10 minutes ahead of Py. Not too bad! However, Py took his time here for a little recharge and to enjoy a good turkey sandwich! He let the other group take off and did not hurried or bothered at all to hang on this time. Taking it a bit easy still dealing with a minor but wicked cramp as he rode in. Filling up bottles again and sitting down on a bench with River view :-) Thinking of mounting the helmet cam to get a little footage of the 2nd still uncovered part of the ride. Diggin in his (too) full pack and not finding the helmet mount -- hmm, was 100% sure to have packed it -- then not.


Back on the bike 11:24am after a 23min break, proceeding in small gears to hope this cramps stays away. He had plenty of fluids all the time. But still it came back and went away also -- weird. Suffering a little and feeling every itch of this darn nearly a week old road rash. Also thinking about raising his saddle a few mm. Just hooked with a little groups... hmm. But he decided to stop again and adjust [mile 74, 357' - 361'] -- may be this would help also the cramping. Felt a little better after doing so. Good. He kept feeling better and moving on well again. Catching up with a few random riders. And soon reaching

mile 80 [12:41pm, 392' - 402']: Green River Rd (optional water station and bathroom!!! -- very good :-)


Proceeding now along side this nice Green River Rd until reaching the switchback right turn and uphill again! Making good progress, hooking up with a few riders. Some stopped at the optional Colrain Gas station, but Py and one more rider proceeded -- still plenty (too much weight!!!) of water on board. However, on previous rides and hot weather conditions that would have been just enough. Taking the nice back roads via one more covered bridge, eating a banana #n (not counted those any more) in preparation for the Patten Hill climb coming up soon. Right away down shifting and spinning it up -- felt good, no big dealt at all at his current pace. The rider he was with jumped ahead, only to get caught 1/2 way up walking and cramping... amazed easy going now after previous suffering to

mile 97.1 Patten Hill Summit [2:22pm, 491' - 503']: CHECKPOINT Little Big House Gallery.

Again no hurry here, taking a few snap shots and having a few good refreshments before starting the "home run".


knowing the route and the few climbs still to come it felt quite easy and he managed to get going a really fast road ride to the finish even dropping riders on Road bikes! Already having this nice river for a cool down and dust clean up before dinner in mind :-)

mile 110.5 [3:25, 556'] finish Greenfield

Finish sign in. Not a record breaking time all over, but good moving time of little over 8 hours -- more resting today. Taking the always different dirt road conditions into account -- hard packed moist and great traction -- but rough, washboard at times and quite a bit of loose rocky gravel on top, this was a pretty good time for Py.
Bike stow away. Walking over to the river for a cool down and dirt wash off for a clean dinner... very nice :-) Great food for dinner and beer! What a day once again -- Py's D2R2 #6 completed.


... and just perfect timing with Irene, driving back to the hotel the rain set it.


The D2R2 2011 in numbers:

Here is Py's 2011 180k GPS track -- at all you Garmin fans, feel free to take my route for next year as a precision guide -- just click it and then on Garmin Connect select "Send to device" and you are all set!

One more epic D2R2 2011 -- BIG THUMBS UP to all of the organizers and volunteers again!
Thank you.

-- Help to fix Irene flooding related road damages --
Green River Village Restoration Fund:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Early Birds North -- little (too) crazy birds today

Heading out early again, sun pretty low again this morning.


Rolling out North. Putting down a good pace and holding on to it -- averaging 40.4km/h for the first hour. Good move over the tanks, OK staying in front for good time. Just hot feeling with high humidity and little wind. The font pack slowed a bit sitting in at 27..28mph on Oregon and taking a few snaps that occasion...


Then Py was moving up and got things rolling again...

Deli stop and coffee in Cutchogue.

Rolling out some what spread out, some must have been still busy back there longer that thought. Moving on slowly and then as no one showed up after a good while behind moving on with a few riders. Finally they caught back on. In Riverhead a little traffic related split up, going with a small group in front -- good. Thing seamed a bit sketchy back there. Great move up and work on 51 with one RP Cycle rider! We should have kept that going a bit longer.... but the pack behind seamed to kill it and they got back up, proceeding with the rotation until little later after lining up on right and moving up all sudden (not sure what exactly happened, but does not matter -- some wicked moves of fatigue and attempt to drop back on right?!?!?! -- bad/uncontrolled/inexperienced move for sure -- please stay all the way back on first hand if not able to work all the way up) two riders up R. went down and ended up in the bushes -- and then a too sudden slow down of the wheel on front of Py got him caught on this wheel on the right in between riders on left and right -- no where to "escape" -- holding on as long as possible counter steering and killing speed from some 30+mph a bit before hitting the pavement -- ending up with a good bruise/Road Rash on the hip and some more scratches :-(


But able to ride back to the parking lot -- thanks for the immediate help with a bag of ice!! and the ride home. And big kudos to the super durable lizard skin like Assos pants -- possibly saved a little extra skin and they barely got a scratch on them while my team jersey & gloves got trashed.

Hope to recover for the D2 R2 -- guess that get's me a little extra Adrenalin.

Note: all comments and assumptions are the plain humble opinion of Py as he did not saw the whole thing. Feel free to comment... also I really do not care nor want to know who or what screwed it up -- just please learn a lesson to ride more save even >X< possibly not got hurt.
PS: Different other matter: Go here and help Jenn reaching a goal!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just one more RP2IPBP

A warm day again, noticeable darker in the morning already indicating summer is getting along. A only three of the "current usual's" today. Steady good pace and work, big time pulls by Py.... Phil showing up on the return route to join us. Little ease up at the end, but adding the WRDK again. No data, as Py used his Shamal wheels, power wheel is still on TT set up. But felt like at least a X power of 215 if not 220 Watts.... 6 days to D2 R2.


Saturday, August 13, 2011


One more of Py's rides before the (in)famouse D2 R2 is coming up in 13 days. Just a small group today, good work every one.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Night Kreb Cycle 5 lap ITT

Just in time after starting to evacuate a new instrument for the first time at the Laboratory.... Py made it to this years Kreb Cycle Friday Night Race Series 5 lap ITT what was on schedule. Perfect timing as also his Timemachine was still all set up ready to fly.

Few warm up laps -- two nearly full speed laps -- two more to relax before the start. Py was 9th to go at 2 minutes between riders. Taking off all nearly full speed peaking up to 800 Watts to get to speed and maintaining all over average of 270 Watts or 41km/h for 5 laps -- fly by at several riders...

Py's official 5 lap time: 20:14 -- 20:12 per GPS with auto lap trigger -- close enough.

Here are a few selected photos, click to go to my gallery with many more taken after my race.


Click to view full size image

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Tour of the Catskills -- Stage Race

Three days of premier racing in the great Catskill Mountains, NY are now history for 2011 and so Py's first time experience for this one. Time to wrap it up.


-- work in progress -- gear thoughts -- preparations --


As Py's blog readers know, he happened to be riding and training a full week in the Adirondacks including a pre ride of the Catskills stage 1 with a friend. The timing was pure lucky as this previous summer vacation week of cycling in the Dacks was planned way before he even though about doing this race -- it just happened to be as perfect as it was. He had the great chance to ride with his friends, pull them along, go hard on climbs or pull long in a TT like effort. Thanks to all of them!

As usual, new races and such big ones never leave you or Py thoughtless before what to do best. Tuning and selecting equipment, gearing, finding the ideal aero and weight balance. In particular the TT time would count in big for the GC. Getting the most out of his Planet X time machine would be a key:


Also for the road machine, weight minimizing, EC90SLs, including his older lighter helmet. But also including thoughts about feedzone support and necessary water/food supplies, breakfast and lunch/dinner for the stay went around in his minds. Nutrition and recovery.

Friday -- first race day -- Stage 1:

Loading the gear. Travel to Hunter, NY. Funny, just a few miles before the Catskill exit meeting Paul and Carol on the road. Signing in on the way at Hunter Mountain for the TT and checking in at the Fairlawn Inn -- just a block from the TT start, great!


He took also his cooler along (fits right into this open spot in this picture) with food supplies like orange juice, milk, yogurt, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, muesli, tomatoes, his bread (sure!!), cheese and a little left over turkey. Lunch now. Checking out the TT start and taking a few snap shots.


Back at the Inn attempting to pin or saw on the numbers on this super stretchy TT skin suit while NOT wearing it -- kind of an failure -- super. Time is running short to the womens or Carols TT start -- jumping into this suit with one ugly attached number and hurrying to the start -- just missed her to take the picture. Sorry about that Carol. Hanging out there and finding some gracious help by a random person to put his numbers one. Big thanks!!

Putting back this big camera and finally getting ready for his ride of the truth. He felt in good and strong condition, even not having done much TTing at all this season. But put a little extra thoughts into optimizing the bike setup and taking full advantage of his latest toy, a power tap.

Having collected enough data from intense training rides and races he had a pretty good idea of what power he should be able to sustain -- but you never know the exact race day's performance until the day of truth comes. In numbers he had a to day best baseline of 260 Watts @ full 30min -- measured, not extrapolated or such. Per "theory" he should be able to put in a good 280 Watts.

Rolling up to the start tent waiting to be called to line up -- riders go every 30 seconds. Exact on time, 3-2-1-go!
Flat to slightly downhill the way out with a minor incline before the turn around point. He accelerated smoothly and ramped up to speeds just little beyond 47km/h and stabilized his 30 second average power readings around 260 Watts. While staying focused and in a good aerodynamic tuck head forward his pray in sight.... Keeping an eye fixed on this number, not let go below 250 Watt at any time in particular on the down hills, big gears and go. Passing a random non TT rider, avoiding any bad spots, hugging this white line from right until the turn around point came into sight -- pretty much perfect timing and smooth turn around plus fly out again, a sip of water and back up to full speed ahead on this minor incline, felt the need to ramp this up with extra power -- readings going up to 380 Watts, felt alright -- passing one, then one more rider kind of stalling up hill... and smoothly settling back to 250..260 Watts maintaining a good pace. Hunter village should come into sight soon again -- counting down km -- little under 10km one way! The coarse will zig zag into town with an short uphill finish at the mountain base. Little traffic encounter at the right turn, but working out OK. Would have been great to have these minor two town roads closed down in some way. Pushing it up with all left to the finish line. Done. Hanging out for the results.

In numbers 258 Watts average. 1:15 down on the best time in my field Cat 4B, place 15.

With this strong showing he was really happy and looking forward to two more great days of racing!

Returning to the Inn, shower, quick recovery snack bananas, strawberries, milk... and taking out the camera for a little coverage of the Pro1/2 race at the start tent:


Saturday -- Stage 2:

The Devil awaits... this stage was pretty much strait forward and "easy". The field stayed together all the way and was easy going -- possibly afraid of what there was to come at mile 55! At Feedzone 2 Py received two bottles of water from Paul (THANKS Paul!!) in a simple plastic shopping bag due to the lack of finding a proper musette bag last minute -- so he had to struggle a few moments hands free organizing bottles, stowing one still tangled up in this bag in a rear jersey pocket for now. Yikes, a gap as the field moved on, but no big deal catching up after a few turns -- good -- one more rider took the chance to tailgate Py back on -- obvious similar troubles. While moving easy on this big road Rte 32 Py took one more chance to untangle this bottle and plastic bag and put it into the bottle holder properly. Just all set up in time for the devil ;-) Py moved a bit up to the front part of the pack while approaching the Devils Kitchen and switched into climbing mode and gears -- C11 Compact + 12-27 did just fine. On the way up he kept passing riders. Some even walking... Towards the KOM a huge gap behind Py and just a hand full of riders ahead in sight. Py spotted a escape group of 3 riders and a few stragglers of other fields, tried to catch up, but on his own this did not worked out. A little drizzle started and turned into steady rain on the last 5 miles -- actually feeling pretty good. Three or four riders came up on him and they pushed to the finish, two got dropped off again.

Py finishing 12th on stage 2, GC 16.

Pre race scenes...

Pro1/2 and other finishes:


Congratulations to this outstanding young rider Nick in the CAT4B group taking the best climbers jersey!

Sunday -- Stage 3: "brutal, hot, mechanicals+flat, but finished"

Back home. That drive back was annoying and stressful, worse than racing -- traffic jam on 87, moved over to the Taconic via 84, moving OK but all the way but congested crowds.... and terrible weather on Western LI, ugly but not wet out here -- Py got sweaty unloading all the stuff...

Ah well, there was also a race stage 3 today, almost forgot.... was kind of brutal, two major climbs with countless steeps and rollers in between -- this totally broke the race up, even longer story to be written. Hang on.

Starting out neutral, fine. From mile 3 Py was some where mid/front half of the field as a small break took off, it took him some time to get out and in front of the pack w/o crossing the yellow line plus bad rough road there.... Py tried, got about 1/2 way up to the break as an incline started and he felt not comfortable that early to waist such energy and dropped back into the field. That was pretty much wise as the break fall apart and he thinks except one rider all got back rolled in. A long fast downhill on big road 23....

then nice rolling roads but many steeps and kickers leading to the major big climb -- a good one. On the way up there a few steeps splintered the field quite a bit up into pieces and he be leaves he managed to get back into the 2nd or 3rd small chase group -- may be 10..20 riders up ahead, not exactly sure that time. If you can not look up all the time and around turns and over rollers Py loosed quickly a precise judgement about his position.


At mile 30: Feedzone!! Py got his bottle from Paul, all set. Moving nicely in a good small group with about 1 minute down on a small break away. Big thanks to Paul for the water support + info about the gap -- 1 minute down!! Shortly after that stowing away that bottle he dropped/jammed his chain on the next incline and needed to get off the bike to fix it. OK, not a so big deal... chasing back on -- almost there -- ping ping ping, what's that?!??! then Pffffffff -- jikes. A broken spoke (snapped in parts almost in the middle -- Sapim issue?? he heard some rumors.) on the rear wheel plus he thinks a related flat. However, the wheel car was right there and that swap worked pro like, they got his wheel ready as he just had his dead one off --- big thumbs up!!! However, his great break group was gone. He tried hard to chase... but to far away, did not worked out. But a few riders of the next small bunch got to Py. Great. They, mostly Py... kept chasing together with one rider from Danbury Audi and stayed together until the finish, they dropped all the others attempting to tag on ;-) With about 15 miles to go a road looking so familiar came up on them -- Airport Road. You know it, good. No? It's just one more feature to get some riders off there bike for no obvious reason -- but the grade... Py new it and he knew he cleared it a year ago with that gearing he unfortunately had now on with his spare -- 11-25. And so he did this time again. Then just keep it moving, a endless set of rollers and a set of great downhills -- pushing it to the finish together with Lorenzo from Team Danbury-Audi.

Hard, hot, but great race -- a real race -- no kiddin around circles.

Or simply put: survival and minimizing time loss today.

Coming in still on 21st position, keeping GC 16.


Felt really good been done with it all....

However -- a really exceptional race ''a the real deal race" and great long race weekend. Also big big thanks to all the great organization, support and volunteer people -- just every one and thing was outstanding!


Py's plain race report and photo links here: